Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai'i in July 2014 rose 2.6 percent from the same month last year to $1.4 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
While total arrivals grew 2.5 percent to 772,106 visitors, a shorter average length of stay (-3 percent to 9.12 days) resulted in flat growth in visitor days (-0.6 percent). Average daily spending was higher for most visitor markets compared to July 2013.
In July 2014, arrivals by air increased 2.4 percent to 771,244 visitors and one cruise ship visited Hawai'i with 863 visitors (+80 percent).
"Last month was the highest July on record for our state in both visitor spending (+2.6 percent to $1.35 billion) and arrivals (+2.5 percent to 772,106)," said HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney. "Year-to-date, we continue to pace ahead of the record-breaking year for our tourism economy in 2013, with nearly $212 million more in visitor expenditures and $23 million in additional tax revenue to the state in comparison to the same period last year."
Arrivals by air from U.S. West rose 5.1 percent to 327,325 visitors in July 2014, the first increase after 11 months of declines. Increased daily spending (+4.5 percent to $155 per person) also contributed to a 7.4 percent growth in U.S. West visitor expenditures to $483.9 million. While U.S. East arrivals of 175,739 visitors declined 1 percent from July 2013, higher daily spending (+5.6 percent to $207 per person) led to a 4.2 percent gain in visitor expenditures to $380.1 million.
"While we initially projected a slight decline in air seats from North America, we have seen a slight growth with Delta Air Lines adding additional flights and Hawaiian Airlines redeploying aircrafts that were previously used for international routes," said McCartney. "Our focus will be to ensure there is sufficient demand to sustain this increase in seats from our core U.S. market."
Expenditures by Japanese visitors rose 3.1 percent to $205.7 million in July 2014, bolstered by growth in arrivals (+1.6 percent to 131,229 visitors) and increased daily spending (+7 percent to $268 per person).
During their low season, Canadian visitors spent a total of $44.6 million, down 16 percent from July 2013. Canadian arrivals dropped 7.4 percent to 27,790 visitors. Arrivals from All Other markets totaled 112,162 visitors (+3.9 percent) with combined expenditures of $238.2 million (-5.1 percent).
Among the four larger Hawaiian Islands, arrivals grew on Kaua'i (+3.1 percent), Hawai'i Island (+3 percent) and O'ahu (+1.5 percent), while Maui remained stable (+0.2 percent) compared to July 2013. Visitor expenditures increased on Maui (+8.2 percent), Kaua'i (+5 percent) and Hawai'i Island (+1.7 percent) while visitors expenditures on O'ahu were unchanged. However, this month, visitors stayed a shorter period of time on each island compared to July 2013.
"We continue to monitor travel trends for the state, including adjustments in visitor spending and length of stay to accommodate vacation costs and budgets. With visitor expenditures up on the neighbor islands, with an exception to Lana'i, we are pleased that our collective efforts to increase visitor distribution across the state continue to result in increased dollars and other economic benefits to the neighbor islands," said McCartney.
Air capacity to Hawai'i was up 3.7 percent to 1,032,625 total air seats in July 2014. Scheduled seats from Canada (+21.2 percent), Other Asia (+17.1 percent), Oceania (+8 percent), U.S. West (+6 percent) and U.S. East (+4.2 percent) increased, offsetting fewer seats from Japan (-5 percent).